You may be aware of biobutanol as a fuel source from our recent article on the subject, but apart from that it is hardly heard of compared to ethanol and biodiesel. However, there are many factors which make it an attractive alternative fuel for use in vehicles today, one of which is an energy content that is closer to gasoline than ethanol. You can read yourself what Dr. Edward Green, the Green Biologics Founder and CEO has to say, "Biofuels, such as biobutanol, are sustainable and environmentally friendly 'next generation' fuels that will extend, and ultimately replace, fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel. Although butanol is not currently used as a biofuel, it has a number of properties that make it extremely attractive. It is a renewable liquid fuel, produced from the fermentation of sugars, which can easily be integrated into the existing fuel infrastructure by blending with petrol. Unlike bioethanol, it offers similar energy per litre to petrol, has low vapour pressure and is easy to store, handle and transport via pipelines."
Dr. Green goes on to point out that one reason it has yet to take off as a fuel is that it costs a good deal more to ferment than ethanol currently, but "we are aiming for a two to three fold reduction in cost. We are effectively using our knowledge of enzymology, microbial physiology and fermentation to optimize and 're-commercialize' the butanol fermentation process."

This can be nothing but good news, perhaps we will have another contender to help replace petroleum-based fuels.

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[Source: U.K. Government News Network via Green Car Congress]

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